FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Mount Comfort Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville is said to be the oldest historical church site in Northwest Arkansas.
"The area was first settled in the early 1800s, around 1828," said Susan Rhodes. Her family attends service at Mount Comfort.
For nearly two centuries, the land of the church off of Mount Comfort and Rupple Roads has been the home to 3 different churches.
"The first church was a log cabin," Rhodes said. "Then we went to a brick cabinet, a brick church, which was used during the Civil War."
Rhodes says the church was used as a hospital during the Civil War for the Confederate Army. "They would bring their injured soldiers there for medical care. And a few soldiers are actually buried in the cemetery," she said.
The site was later used by the Union Army and taken down.
"The current church was built around 1874," said Rhodes.
The church was also used as a school. The building is still standing with some of the pews from the 1800s.
"Just some minor changes have been made, but we've tried very hard to kind of keep a lot of that historic component here," Rhodes said about the building. She says the historic components create a community beacon that represents the historic character of the area, even with the growth of Northwest Arkansas.
"I think it's kind of wonderful that we're able to maintain this property, despite all of the growth," said Rhodes.
"We have a community garden that we use to supply produce to local food banks and food pantries and such," said Rhodes when asked what the building is currently being used for. "We really try to make a positive impact on the community through our church site."
Rhodes also tells 5NEWS the land site of the church also served as a way station along the trail of tears. On Sunday, June 4, the church held a celebration of 195 years. The celebration was from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There were tours of the cemetery, garden, schoolhouse and sanctuary.
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